Posts by Joe Wylie

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  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    - to them an accessible city means 'transport: connecting cars and otherwise mobile people with commerce'

    Around ten years ago I read an article about a woman who, starting in the early 70s, had taken on the then powers-that-be over wheelchair access in central Chch. Simply drawing attention to basic needs such as kerb ramps at pedestrian crossings provoked a memorably arrogant response, the gist of which seemed to be, cripples had no significant part to play in the great game of commerce and consumption.

    Of course no corporate bureaucrat would publicly espouse that kind of nonsense today, it'd be like employing the n-word. Still, the mindset seems very much alive among the muffin-scoffing minions of the Chch rebuild.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bowie,

    Attachment

    Big ups to the unknown author of this.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bowie, in reply to Chris Morris,

    When he played Station to Station, the echo came back from the New Brighton area. Made that song very eerie. I remember my ears rang for a long time afterwards so the noise must have kept a lot of local residents up.
    I also saw his tour at Athletic Park 5 years later - not the Glass Spider one. A lot better stage performance but not as much soul there.

    During the the long picnic-like wait as the sun went down at Western Springs in 1978, I remember someone saying that what we were about to experience would probably be as good as we'd ever get. Looking back, I think they were right. This from ten days later seems close enough to the finale of the NZ shows from that tour. Some sound to go with Stuart Page's great photo. It's too late to be grateful, but boy were we privileged.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Rotmistrov,

    Surely you can argue about library upgrades on a philosophical basis though? Maggie Thatcher didn't like the concept of "free" libraries. Libraries began as private/subscription services.

    Eighteen of NZ's free public libraries were established with grants from a Scottish-American philanthropist.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Treatment for itching and shyness, in reply to Sacha,

    Here's the sort of behaviour that hateful articles like Farrar's legitimise.

    Thank you Sacha, though until I checked the date I did rather hope that was an old news item. The pros and cons of special classes aside, IMHE their alumni tend to keep in touch with one another at least as much as the general populace might.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incoming: Summer,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Treatment for itching and shyness, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    What horrible people. How do people grow up to be adults with so little empathy and understanding?

    David Farrar’s supposed to be above that sort of thing, right? According to Andrew Geddis, Dirty Politics, by portraying Kiwiblog “as the “good cop” to Slater’s “bad cop” does his blog and him as a person a disservice. There’s far more nuance than that. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I think the book should have held Kiwiblog up as an example of what political blogging can offer, as compared with the cesspool that National went diving into.

    Farrar’s been actively promoting that very cesspool for years. With Slater no longer able to effectively muddy the waters, his forays into nudge-wink nastiness are all the more starkly apparent.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Saudi sheep: Misappropriating…, in reply to Alfie,

    David Shearer said on RNZ this morning that human rights concerns should not impede our trade with Saudi. Whatever happened to moral fibre? Or a relevant political opposition?

    Shearer sounds disturbingly like Margaret Thatcher in "reasonable" mode, advocating the "wisdom" of maintaining trade ties with apartheid South Africa.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to linger,

    The article may be badly written, with poorly selected and organised information (the potted family history, in particular, seems supremely irrelevant), but it does not seem in any way a deliberate attempt to smear Wilkins.

    Thanks for the BBC link. Perhaps it's simply ineptitude on the part of the author of the Fairfax piece, but it's hard to see the focus on Wilkins's having been of interest to the security services as anything other than mean-spirited and sensationalist. Introducing known Soviet agents Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, who hadn't the remotest connection to Wilkins, seems a cheap attempt to juice things up. If your readers need to be given that kind of information by way of context, a sentence or two on the McCarthyist paranoia of those times might have provided a little balance.

    John von Neumann, who was rather more central to the Manhattan Project than Wilkins, and whose mathematical work provided much of the basis for Wilkins's work on the discovery of the structure of DNA, died under military guard in a Washington DC hospital. The official fear was that he might reveal military secrets during his drawn-out suffering from terminal cancer. If he'd had a "kiwi connection", perhaps that alone might have been enough to inspire a little latter-day muckraking.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incoming: Summer,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4152 posts Report Reply

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